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Neglected diseases, a group of tropical illnesses especially endemic in low-income countries, constitute a major market failure. As such, they need to be controlled by means of appropriate public policies and governmental intervention. These diseases impact almost exclusively populations with very low purchasing power, and therefore private pharmaceutical researchers, developers and manufacturers have little incentive to invest in research and development (R&D), remedies and infrastructure that offer prevention or treatment against them.
With several interim meetings concluded without major progress, international climate policy negotiators are preparing for this November's annual UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa. The Kyoto Protocol's commitment period expires in 2012. This meeting will be a final opportunity for the international community to decide how or whether to renew it, or approach the problem of climate change differently.
April 15, 2010
SUBJECT: Changes in international humanitarian assistance.
SIGNIFICANCE: Resources allocated to international humanitarian aid are increasing, but the presence of new donors with different approaches and agendas also mean aid coordination is becoming more difficult.
ANALYSIS: Humanitarian aid -- a subset of overseas development assistance (ODA) -- has grown rapidly over recent years, with a sharp increase in the number of donors, as well as significant growth in the amounts contributed to tackle humanitarian crises around the world:
Overall international …
March 22, 2010
SUBJECT: The ethical and operational challenges posed by the 'New Humanitarianism'.
SIGNIFICANCE: The prominence of what some have called the 'New Humanitarianism' means that aid agencies increasingly face hard choices over the genre of programming they adopt and potential tradeoffs between protecting their staff, delivering assistance and adhering to the core humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.
ANALYSIS: The 'New Humanitarianism', with its convergence of relief and development agendas and emphasis …